October 31 was the day the British would leave the European Union. They will stay for a while, but did say goodbye to the colourful chairman of the Lower House. Someone finally said goodbye on Thursday, October 31, 2019. The United Kingdom may remain in the European Union for a while, but after ten years Mr Speaker was his last day as chairman of the British House of Commons. He was cursed in front of the entrance of parliament by brexiters who again saw a national holiday pass by, but inside, warm words reflected on the wooden panels of the debate room.
“Praises to the chaplain of the Speaker,” reported the agenda of the House of Commons. Certainly praise was given to Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin for the nine years in which she devotedly took care of the salvation of the people’s representatives, but by far the most attention was paid to John Bercow, who retired after ten years. The socialist Jack Dromey even called the little Speaker one of the giants from 600 years of parliamentary history.
It was the third wave of praise. At his farewell House of Commons had spent a few hours of parliamentary time praising Bercow, and on his last question hour, Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson compared this remainer and Federer fan to a Wimbledon umpire who occasionally decided to play a game of tennis, to surprise his opponent with unplayable balls. Bercow laughed, but realized that his independence was being questioned here.
A day later, the Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg, courteously noted that criticism of Bercow’s presidency is possible, but that it is not time for that now. Although this “delegate to Downton Abbey” is not normally in favor of modernization, he praised the room that Bercow has provided for emergency debates, which meant that ministers, to their annoyance, had to exchange their safe departments for the critical parliament building every time.
It was in line with the philosophy of Bercow, which took place after the ticket scandal in the lower house. He wanted to be “champion of the parliamentarians” against the powerful government apparatus. He also received praise for involving young people in politics, for example by setting up a Youth Parliament. It didn’t stop there. Former Secretary of State Tracey Crouch expressed admiration for Bercow’s ability to lead nine hours in a row. “You apparently have the bladder of a camel.”
Mother of the House Harriet Harman praised the “journey” that Bercow made from a member of the right-wing Monday Club to advocate for progressive issues. He is “woke,” she concluded satisfied. On the other side of the debate room, the Conservative thanked Andrew Rosindell Bercow for his “patriotic decision” to have the Union Jack fly from the parliament building on all days of the year, and not just during session days.
In the eyes of the Conservative Sir John Hayes, the Speaker “brought theatre and humour to a time of exaggerated hysteria and technocratic rigidity, with a vitality and humanity reminiscent of Van Gogh’s paintings.” The next phase of life was philosophized. from the 56-year-old Bercow, where suggestions were made ranging from tennis commentator and participant in Strictly Come Dancing to Archbishop of Lichfield, a position that has been vacant since 799.
There was also appreciation in the public gallery, to which the Speaker is entitled. “He has placed the House of Commons back in the middle of society,” said Elspeth Ashworth from Edinburgh, who had come to the House of Commons especially for Bercow’s farewell. Present was also Rotterdam history student Joas Haster, who had come to Brexitland because he thought it was a nice idea “not to leave the EU and then go there.”
In the Parliament square, a pro-Brexit demonstrator, known as Brenda from Billingham, knows exactly who is guilty of the new postponement. “Bercow has sabotaged democracy. His departure is meager comfort on this day. “While a few dozen demonstrators expressed their dissatisfaction, the last hours of Speaker Bercow began. At half past five there was a final vote, to adjourn the session day. The “Ayes” won and Bercow left his seat.
“Order, order” were his last words.